(Photo courtesy of Mark D. Bjelland)
An illustrated companion to Chapter 12 of Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care. To view main webpage, click here:
I felt trapped in the city and dreamed of escape. ...Slowly, my attitudes began to change. ...fell in love with my city and its people, its history, its problems, its parks, its ghettos, its decrepit mills, and its hilltop mansions. ...In short, I learned to love and care for a place that was not my ideal but was the place that over time had become my home."
Although it is tempting to associate environmental stewardship with living on a solar-powered organic farm far from city lights or doing ecological research in a pristine cloud forest, most of us should focus on the streets, fields, neighborhoods, watersheds, towns, and cities where we live."
Many Christians have rightly wondered how creation care relates to the great commandment to love God and our neighbor. The concept of place offers a path forward because places contain both human and nonhuman elements, social relationships, and ecological relationships. Places integrate all aspects of creation."
In architecture and urban planning, placemaking refers to creating high-profile public places such as Chicago’s Millennium Park, while place-keeping refers to the care and maintenance of such spaces. ...Place-making and place-keeping encompass more of the breadth of Scripture than stewardship. We engage in place-making and place-keeping when we fill the earth, when we preserve God’s creation, and when we love our neighbors."
A place may be an old-growth forest or a city square surrounded by high-rise buildings and buzzing with human activity. Place-keeping is equally applicable in the Costa Rican rainforest and the scarred industrial landscapes of Flint, Michigan."
The world’s cities are now home to 4 billion people and will capture virtually all of the world’s future population growth so that by 2050 they will house 6.7 billion people."
For a more thorough discussion of urbanization, both in the USA and globally, click the following link:
In Boston, Frederick Law Olmsted’s design for the Fens and Riverway restored a highly polluted and flood-prone landscape by implementing functional drainage and a rich habitat. It has become a wonderfully enjoyable emerald necklace running through the heart of the city."